Once confined to Spanish bars, tapas have taken over the world. Traditional versions of the small plates sometimes contain cheese, but not always. (Don’t worry—we’ve got you.) Here, we’ve riffed on a few favorites (pan con tomate, patatas bravas, gambas al ajillo, aceitunas aliñadas, albóndigas) by adding curds and simplifying preparations for American home cooks. Truly, tapas are the perfect summer food; every one of the following recipes takes under 30 minutes to prepare, and none require turning on your oven for more than 5 minutes. So pour some sangria and start planning your al fresco fiesta. Salud!
Five Recipes for a Summer Tapas Spread
Smashed Tomato Toasts Topped with Garrotxa
A cheesy twist on pan con tomate these simple bites strike just the right balance of sweet, salty, and earthy.
Stuffed olives are a crowd pleaser that fit many diets. Our version is gussied up with a seasoned two-cheese blend and tossed in a bright, herbal marinade.
Baked Garlic Shrimp with Cotija and Herbs
Gambas al ajillo is one rich tapa—here, we’ve added zippy cotija to cut the oily mouthfeel.
Crispy Fingerling Potatoes with Cheese Dip
Patatas bravas are one of the most ubiquitous bar snacks. We’ve paired them with creamy cheese dip in place of the traditional aioli.
Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs with Smoky Tomato Sauce
A queso-filled version of albóndigas, these hearty mouthfuls are top-notch party food.
Need a little more cheese for tapas night? These 8 PDO cheeses from Spain will fit right into any Spanish-inspired spread.